Oonagh Murdock

ASK - Stamp Duty Relief: Festive Cheer for First Time Buyers

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As part of the ASK – A Solicitor Knows initiative, The Law Society of Northern Ireland has launched a new social media campaign highlighting some of the legal services offered by solicitors in Northern Ireland. In support of that, Oonagh Murdock from McKinty and Wright’s Property and Commercial Department details the main points of interest on the Stamp Duty Relief introduced in the Autumn Budget.

The Chancellor announced a new Stamp Duty Relief for First Time Buyers in his recent Autumn Statement. This relief applies from the 22nd November 2017 in Northern Ireland, England and Wales and means that: -

  • First Time Buyers purchasing a residential property for less than £300,000.00 will not pay any stamp duty.
  • For a property between £300,000 and £500,000.00, First Time Buyers will pay stamp duty at 5% on the amount of the purchase price above £300,000.00.
  • Those purchasing property over £500,000.00 will not benefit from this relief.

Qualifying for the Relief

You must be an individual who has never owned property in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world. Properties inherited or gifted will be counted, meaning that the purchaser will not be a 'first time buyer' under the legislation. This also applies if you have ever been named on the title deeds of any property.

The property must also be used as the individual's first main residence - you will not be entitled to the relief if you are purchasing a buy to let property.

The relief will not apply to joint purchasers if one of the purchasers has previously owned a property.

It does not apply to non-residential or mixed-use property; for example, a shop with an apartment above. However, the relief will not be denied to purchasers who currently owns or previously owned mixed-use or non-residential property, as long as the property did not include a dwelling.

'Dwelling' for the purposes of the legislation, includes a building or part of a building which is used or suitable for use as a single dwelling. Holiday homes and furnished holiday lettings are dwellings if they are suitable to be used as dwellings.

To view the ASK – A Solicitor Knows short introduction to buying or selling a house click here and for further information, please contact Oonagh Murdock to arrange an appointment.

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